And So She Went: Laura Kay Rudat, Filmmaker

Laura Kay Rudat, filmmaker, is full of surprises and is an incredible story-teller. Her brief yet fascinating filmmaking career has taken her to some of the most unlikely places on earth. In India she filmed the documentary A House for Vasan (below) telling the story of Hands on Houses, which builds houses for widows and the poor. In California she created her thesis film Moriah (bottom of page).

Her upcoming project will be with a team in the Philippines. She is raising money for that here.

A House for Vasan from Laura Kay Rudat on Vimeo.

A bit of her story: I met Laura a few years ago at university near Vancouver, Canada. She was studying International Relations and figuring out what to do next. Over a period of time she was confronted powerfully and mysteriously with the realization that she was supposed to move to San Francisco. She describes the experience with the following words in a post entitled “Dear Reader”:

Many of you are wondering how I got to this point–bags packed, and hours away from moving to San Francisco.

Aware that my student visa was due to expire at the end of August, I began to pray about my next step. I sensed my time in Canada was up, so opted out of extending my stay. In this time of seeking His will, God began speaking to me about San Francisco. The idea was strange to me for several reasons.

To begin with, I was happier than I’d ever been in Langley. Freshly graduated and surrounded by close friends and an amazing church community, I had no reason to leave. Washington would have been the logical option if I were to leave; there I could enjoy the familiarity of home and family. Not only had I never been to San Francisco, but I didn’t really know anyone there (though I later learned two of my cousins have recently moved there).

But God was relentless. Every day, for about a month and a half, San Francisco came up in the most random of ways. Conversations on wholly different topics would suddenly swerve towards San Francisco. Somehow, everything I encountered in my day would subtlety or blatantly (depending on my level of doubt that day) orient my future-focus towards this city. Throughout this time, I began to feel peace about going and I received still more confirmations. Once I decided for sure I was going, whether I knew why or not, the signs virtually stopped. It was as if God said, “Phew. She finally understands.”

I thought that after making this decision, God would reveal more of the plan. But as I get ready to leave today, I know almost nothing. He is requiring me to trust Him more by not taking the matter into my own hands. But I do have promises, which I continue to hope in (Hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes in what he sees?). I have promises of provision, purpose, community, joy, and His best.

It was a year in San Francisco before she had her next big realization: that her hobby-love for filmmaking was not only real, but what she was meant to pursue. Entering film school and subsequently working things out in dead space after graduating was a testing time period for Laura, but things changed shortly for the better. In the last year she has moved north to Redding where her presence at Global Legacy has taken both her love for the nations and her love for filmmaking and married them in a dream come true. She is truly living the dream.

Laura’s fun, quirky, and inspiring blog And So She Went will tell the rest of her exciting and challenging story. In the meantime, find Laura Kay at film festivals and on Vimeo.

Reflections: Wandering

Published in www.convergemagazine.com

“Like a bird that wanders from its nest is a person who wanders from his place” – Proverbs 27:8

I remember my first time witnessing a sparrow hit a window. As the little thing lay lifeless on the ground outside grandpa’s office, it was unbelievable to think that life had departed so instantaneously. Leaving the nest is dangerous, but it’s a necessary process. A bird that never leaves the nest will never learn to fly – foregoing the quintessential characteristic of their species.

Like birds, we all have our nests; a familiar place, tangible or intangible, which we have constructed. We also wander from those nests, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. There are times of distress that force us to pack up and search for something more profitable. In Hebrew history, Jacob’s sons went down to Egypt to escape famine. David, while crown prince, was forced to flee the palace and live as a fugitive. Ruth and Naomi were left widows and had to return to Naomi’s old country.

Wisdom separates these sorts of wanderers from those who simply seek greener grass and are never satisfied. Today’s unprecedented mobility offers both opportunity and disaster. Unbridled experimentation becomes perpetual promiscuity, and I’m not just talking about sex. Unsure of what we seek, we wander, looking with blinded eyes for something that will satisfy. Promiscuity is easy, has moments of exhilaration, but is ultimately unsatisfying.

Our lives are filled with longing for better days. “In this life, you will have trouble”, Jesus says, “but fear not, I have overcome the world”. His challenge was whether you believe God is with you. If you do, your actions will reflect your belief that he is able to make good out of evil, see you through, and finish the work he began in you.

We don’t want to look back over our life and see what could have been if we had only stayed the course. “We feel that under other skies, we would succeed”, C.H. Spurgeon observes. “I may know something about my weakness in the present trial but I cannot know how I might stagger under another. Be wary of changing your trials. To exchange one trial for another is all the relief you will get.”

Not all who wander are lost. Nevertheless, be careful how and why you wander.